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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David McNally|
|Produced by||Jerry Bruckheimer|
|Written by||Steve Bing
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
|Cinematography||Peter Menzies Jr.|
|Edited by||John Murray
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$88.9 million|
Kangaroo Jack is a 2003 American-Australian buddy-action comedy film from Warner Bros., written by Steve Bing, Barry O' Brien and Scott Rosenberg, directed by David McNally, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer with music by Trevor Rabin and starring Jerry O'Connell, Anthony Anderson, Christopher Walken, Estella Warren, and Adam Garcia. Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003 by Warner Bros.
An animated children's sequel titled Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.! was produced and released on video in 2004.
The film was panned by critics. Critics overall expressed dislike for the film's acting, directing, and writing, especially for a film aimed at children. It received a rating of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes and it earned $88,929,111 on a $60 million budget. Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003 by Warner Home Video.
In 1982 New York, a boy named Charlie Carbone (Robert Reid) is about to become the stepson of a mobster named Salvatore Maggio (Christopher Walken). On that same day, he meets his new best friend Louis Booker (Shawn Smith), who saves him from drowning after the mobster's apprentice, Frankie Lombardo (Brian Casey), who was recently released from juvenile hall, tried to drown Charlie.
Twenty years later, in 2002, Charlie (Jerry O'Connell) is a boy next door who has his own beauty salon, and Louis (Anthony Anderson) is still his best friend, but Sal's henchmen take a majority of the profit leaving Charlie very little for improvements. After they botch the job of hiding some stolen goods, resulting in some of Sal's men getting arrested, Sal gives Charlie and Louis one more chance. Under instructions from Frankie (Michael Shannon), they have to deliver a package to Australia to a man named Mr. Smith. Frankie also tells them that should they run into trouble, they should call Mr. Smith at the phone number he gives them. Unknown to Charlie and Louis, Sal tells his Capo that he is "cancelling their return trip."
Once on the plane Louis opens the package, to find $50,000 in cash.
Upon landing they rent a car. On their way to Mr. Smith, they accidentally run over a kangaroo. Thinking it's dead, Louis puts his "lucky jacket" on the kangaroo and with Charlie's sunglasses for a joke, as they think the kangaroo looks like Jackie Legs, one of Sal's henchmen. The kangaroo then regains consciousness and hops away with one problem; the $50,000 was in the jacket. Charlie and Louis get into the rented LandCruiser and try to grab the money from the jacket on the kangaroo, but the ensuing chase ends with the duo running into a field of termite mounds and crashing into a pile of rocks. At a nearby pub, Louis manages to call Mr. Smith (Marton Csokas) and tell him about their situation. Mr. Smith tells Louis that they had better have his money when he meets them. He plans to find them himself.
Back in New York City, Salvatore gets a call from Mr. Smith saying that Charlie and Louis haven't arrived yet. Salvatore sends Frankie and some men to Australia to investigate.
Meanwhile, one of the attempts to reclaim the money strands Charlie and Louis in the desert. They meet and get help from a woman named Jessie (Estella Warren). They then track the kangaroo at a nearby valley.
Mr. Smith and his henchmen arrive soon after and capture the trio. Charlie and Louis outsmart them, only to find Frankie has tracked them and is prepared to kill them.
After getting the money back from the kangaroo, they learn from Frankie that Sal really sent them to Australia to pay for their own execution. Out of nowhere, police arrive and arrest Frankie, Mr. Smith and their henchmen and Charlie reclaims Louis's lucky jacket from the kangaroo.
One year later, in 2003, Charlie and Jessie are married and sell their new shampoo, having used the payoff money to start up a line of hair care products. Frankie and his men have been imprisoned for life, which Sal has failed at avoiding. Louis is Charlie's advertising partner. As for the kangaroo (called "Kangaroo Jack"), he is still happily hopping around the outback.
- Jerry O'Connell as Charlie Carbone
- Robert Reid as young Charlie Carbone
- Anthony Anderson as Louis Booker
- Shawn Smith as young Louis Booker
- Estella Warren as Jessie
- Christopher Walken as Salvatore "Sal" Maggio
- Dyan Cannon as Anna Carbone
- Adam Garcia as Kangaroo "Kicking Legs" Jack (voice, uncredited)
- Michael Shannon as Frankie Lombardo
- Brian Casey as young Frankie Lombardo
- Marton Csokas as Mr. Smith
- Bill Hunter as Blue
- Tony Nikolakopoulos as Sal's Capo
- David Ngoombujara as Sr. Sgt. Mr. Jimmy Inkamale, Australian Police
Initially the film's screenplay was titled "Down and Under" and was described as a mafia comedy in the style of Midnight Run. The film was shot in Australia in August 2001, however when the producers saw test footage they realized that the film as it was cut didn't work. Inspired by early test screenings and the marketing campaign behind the recently released Snow Dogs, the production shifted the marketing focus away from that of a mafia comedy movie to that of an animal picture. New footage was shot including replacing the animatronic kangaroo with a new CGI one and getting him to rap and the film was edited to be much more family friendly.
Kangaroo Jack was theatrically released on January 17, 2003 by Warner Bros..
Kangaroo Jack was released on DVD and VHS on June 24, 2003 by Warner Home Video.
Critical response and box office
The film was released on January 17, 2003 and grossed $16,580,209 over the 3-day MLK opening weekend, and $21,895,483 over the 4-day MLK weekend, ranking No. 1 that weekend. It grossed $66,934,963 at the North American domestic box office and $21,994,148 internationally for a worldwide total of $88,929,111. While Kangaroo Jack did a superb job at the box office, it was met with eminently scathing reviews from critics and audiences. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 8% based on 113 reviews, with an average score of 3.2 out of 10, Joe McGovern in the Village Voice described Kangaroo Jack as "witless" and stated "The colorless script...seems to have written itself from a patchwork of Wile E. Coyote cartoons, camel farts, and every high-pitched Aussie cliché to have echoed on these shores".  Nathan Rabin, reviewing the film for The A.V. Club, remarked "Kangaroo Jack's premise, trailer, and commercials promise little more than the spectacle of two enthusiastic actors being kicked over and over again by a sassy, computer-animated kangaroo—and, sadly, the film fails to deliver even that." Gary Slaymaker in the British newspaper The Western Mail said "Kangaroo Jack is the most witless, pointless, charmless drivel unleashed on an unsuspecting public".
For their performances, Anthony Anderson and Christopher Walken were both nominated for Worst Supporting Actor at the 2004 Golden Raspberry Awards, but they lost to Sylvester Stallone for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. The Australian newspaper The Age included Kangaroo Jack on its list of "worst films ever made".
|Kids' Choice Awards||2004||Blimp Award||Favorite Fart in a Movie||Jerry O'Connell||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||2003||MTV Movie Award||Best Virtual Performance For "Kangaroo Jack".||Jerry O'Connell||Nominated|
|Razzie Awards||2004||Razzie Award||Worst Supporting Actor||Christopher Walken For Gigli and Anthony Anderson||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||2003||Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie Actor - Comedy||Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson||Nominated|
|Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||2003||Stinkers Bad Movie Awards||Worst Supporting Actress||Estella Warren||Nominated|
The soundtrack was released by Hip-O Records on January 14, 2003.
- DJ Ötzi - "Hey Baby"
- Sugababes - "Round Round"
- Soft Cell - "Tainted Love"
- Lucia - "So Clever"
- Paulina Rubio - "Casanova"
- Shaggy - "Hey Sexy Lady"
- Shawn Desman - "Spread My Wings"
- Lil' Romeo - "2-Way"
- The Wiseguys - "Start the Commotion"
- The Sugarhill Gang - "Rapper's Delight"
- Men at Work - "Down Under"
- The Dude - "Rock Da Juice"
- Patrick, Goldstien. "How 'Jack' hopped away with a PG rating". Los Angelis Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- Joe McGovern, "Kangaroo Jack". Village Voice. January 18, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Nathan Rabin, "Kangaroo Jack". The A.V. Club. January 27, 2003. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
- Gary Slaymaker, The Western Mail, May 16, 2003, (p.2)
- Lawrie Zion, "Home Movies". The Age, September 11, 2003. (p.7)
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